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Owned and operated by three generations of the Macari family, Macari Vineyards is a 500-acre vineyard and farm located in Mattituck with the goal of producing balanced and age-worthy wines that reflect the terroir of the North Fork. This month our resident local wine enthusiast, Nate Mendelson, had a quick chat about the crowd-favorite winery with Gibson Campbell, who manages the winery’s wholesale and retail operations. Gibson has worked for the winery for over 10 years and is our go-to guy to call when we want to find out about new vintages, exciting new releases, or when we urgently need another 25 cases of Macari rosé because we just can’t keep it in stock. 

Q: What is Macari's winemaking style?

A: We strive to make wines that are representative of our climate and spot in the winemaking world. This means expressive and interesting wines that show balance and finesse. Great natural acidity in our grapes and lower alcohol levels highlight this balance.

Q: What's something someone might not know about the vineyard?

A:That we are one of the only wineries on the East Coast that actually make their own compost and have one of the largest composting operations on the North Fork! 

Q: What is the difference between Macari Vineyards and your Meadowlark location?

A: Meadowlark North Fork was opened as an extension of the Macari brand that features some of our small production/esoteric wines under a new label. We're able to feature cool wines like our "Wild Ferment" Sauvignon Blanc, 100% Pinot Meunier Rosé, as well as some upcoming special projects. We also completely renovated the grounds and buildings replete with pollinator gardens and several private spaces that are perfect for events. 


Q: We just brought in your Pinot Noir, what should people know about it?

A: Pinot Noir is typically harvested early for our traditional method sparkling wine but in certain years, when the fruit is ripening well, the winemaker will make a decision to use it for red wines. With this particular vintage we harvested somewhat early to preserve freshness and bright fruit. The wine was then made by 60% whole clusters layered on top of destemmed grapes for a three week, semi-carbonic fermentation in closed top stainless steel. Bottled four months after picking in a completely different style than we've ever made here.

Q: As the region celebrates its 50th anniversary, what has Macari's impact been and what do you expect for the future?

A: I feel that Macari Vineyards has always been a huge proponent of making top quality wines as the forefront of our business model and pushing the region forward in that regard. Much of this is due to the extensive vineyard work that Joe Macari and his family have focused on for over 30 years. He was a pioneer in a more sustainable approach to farming on the North Fork since our inception; utilizing manure from our herd of Longhorn Cattle, extensive composting, and eschewing the use of pesticides and herbicides on our farm. Many have taken the lead from him and his passion to growing grapes over the decades. 

Q: What are you drinking this season?

A: I have been obsessed with our new sparkling Petit Verdot "Horses" Pet Nat. It's a casual bubbly and works well with light, easy, summer dishes and apps. It also has such an intense color and aromatics from the Petit Verdot that I find intriguing. 

Q: What are some of your favorite spots on the North Fork?

A: Hand me a glass of Muscadet and a plate of oysters at Little Creek and I'm a happy man! But we are fortunate to have so many excellent restaurants and shops that are proud to serve our wines. Take a stroll around Greenport and you can find a glass of Macari wine at so many great places.  

Q: Do you know how many times a week we get asked if we have anymore Macari Collina Merlot!? Are you sure there are no secret cases of it laying around?

A: Hahah, no Vintage Mattituck bought the last of them!

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